Passing the torch from one generation to the next
Generations Welding & Contracting LLC is a small, family-owned business located in Laurel, DE that has grown significantly since opening in 2017. The vision to start Generations seemed to come suddenly, but had actually been in the works for quite some time as Steven Coleman, the owner of Generations, recalls, “I had been a Christian for seven years and had been growing in my walk with the Lord, and one day sitting in my office at my former employer’s, the Lord told me, ‘Your time is done here, and I’ve got something new for you.’” By the end of that day, Steve had presented the business plan for Generations to his wife Carrie, and all the details were set in place. A month later in June 2017, Steve, along with Carrie, his son Tristan, and daughter Dallas, opened the doors to Generations Welding & Contracting LLC. Steve remembered, “We didn’t even have to advertise. Customers just came to us and God provided everything we needed.”
When Steve started Generations, he didn’t plan on the business growing so rapidly, “I’ve never thought much about what the future is for Generations because it’s never been about the money or success. I can remember when we hired one of our first employees and I said, ‘Alright, that’s good. We don’t need anymore.’ Now we have thirteen employees on payroll. Clearly God had other plans.” Generations has continued to grow year by year, and in 2021 they opened the doors to a new fabrication shop. Two years later, and business is bursting at the seams of that facility as well, with hopeful plans to soon build a larger shop on another piece of property in Laurel. It’s important to Steve that the people around him understand that none of the success of Generations was because of his efforts, “It has nothing to do with us, but it has everything to do with Jesus. We haven’t lacked anything because God brings the right people at the right time.”
Steve strives to create an atmosphere that encourages hiring local, young people who are interested in learning the trade, as he himself began learning to weld from a young age and says it’s important to him to pass the torch on to others coming behind him. A Laurel High School graduate, his interest in welding started in shop class. He received his first job opportunity in the field when a close friend from high school told him of a position available at a local fabrication shop where Steve would learn to build manure spreaders alongside him. Steve now encourages young people coming into the trade to take advantage of the advice of those around them, “Glean the wisdom from your elders in the trade, and when an “old-timer” speaks, listen up. I consider myself an “old-timer” now. Find one to connect with and keep your eyes and ears open to learn.”
Tristan Coleman was inspired by his Dad’s passion to become a welder and also began a career in the field at a young age, “I just really enjoy working with my hands and seeing what things look like when we finish building them. I really like building things and stretching myself to learn how to build things better.” He says that now, working for Generations, he enjoys the industry even more because of the relationships he’s built with his fellow employees, “My favorite part is when the work is all done and we get to stand out in the shop and hang out to talk. We’re all like a big family.”
It’s important to Steve that Generations does not operate just to grow itself, but to encourage growth for other small businesses in the area as well, “As the owner of a small business, I see the need for more trade businesses in the local community. Laurel has more to offer than what people see, and I think it’s important to shop local and hire locals because we’ve got to support each other.”
As Generations continues to grow, they look forward to impacting the local community and economy even more. They offer a broad range of services, including but not limited to, structural steel erection and fabrication, stair and railing fabrication, and equipment repairs and maintenance throughout Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. For more information regarding their services, you can visit generationswelding.com, or find them on Facebook and Instagram.